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Geertjan Wielenga Interviews Dale Thoma of Saab Systems Grintek

Posted by editor on December 22, 2009 at 5:28 AM PST

Today's lead Java Today item is Geertjan Wielenga's recent interview with Dale Thoma, of Saab Systems Grintek (SSG), in South Africa. Dale supervises application development within the tactical communications environment. The team applies NetBeans as the foundation in their strategy for helping the South African National Defense Force to accomplish its broader objectives.

Dale describes his team's work as follows:

... we are involved with the tactical interoperability of defence platforms. Amongst other things, we implement Command & Control type applications (in particular relating to Situational Awareness (SA)), data links, translations between 3rd party systems (such as Combat Management Systems (CMS) or Electronic Warfare Systems (EWS)) and tools for interoperability management.

So how does the NetBeans platform relate to what Dale is doing?

The NetBeans Platform is heavily ingrained into our strategies for future development. We are currently implementing several projects on top of the NetBeans Platform for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). These projects relate to the upgrading of the tactical communications backbone for the SANDF. Eventually, we'll see somewhere in the region of several thousand defence platforms that will make use of the NetBeans Platform.

Geertjan and Dale talk in some detail about the Kaizen Integrated Tactical Technologies (KITT) project. Dale describes this as:

our development strategy for the next 10-15 years. It is the result of a Research & Development project within our organization to create a common platform for all our future tactical applications.

NetBeans-based architecture

The interview continues with discussion of some specific subprojects, including diagrams of developed applications in action. Then, the architecture of the systems is outlined (see the above diagram), followed by Dale's discussion of how and why NetBeans was chosen as the base platform over its competitors.

As Geertjan is making clear in his YANPA (Yet Another NetBeans Application) series on his blog, NetBeans forms the basis of a great many complex technology systems, spread across business, finance, engineering, science, and even military realms. You may recall that, at JavaOne 2009, engineers from won a Duke's Choice Award for the development of the NetBeans Satellite Tracking System.

Long-term engagement of technologies by national departments of defense doesn't happen unless the technology is seen as being flexible, reliable, robust, secure, and durable. Looking at the types of organizations that are applying NetBeans as their core platform -- staking their future on it -- NetBeans is clearly viewed as being this type of platform.

In Java Today, Geertjan Wielenga has a new article, South African National Defence Force on the NetBeans Platform

Dale Thoma works for Saab Systems Grintek (SSG) in South Africa, where he supervises application development within the tactical communications environment. His roles at SSG include that of project manager, systems engineer, and line manager...

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Some time ago I asked you how are you familiar with Device Selector. I'd like to thank everybody who answered the question. We have got lots of interesting information. More than half of participants answered "I don't know what Device Selector is." I didn't expect so high percentage of votes for this option so this is a good chance to say a few words about Device Selector functionality...

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Comments down not worth a comment?

well, yeah it was hacked about more than a week ago. This blog space is hampered - now back again, kind of, but seemingly with a gap of lost blogs. Major areas still not working (see the comments on Terrance blogs) - not a news item worth of mentioning?